BBC Parliament is a British television channel from the BBC. Its remit is to make accessible to all the work of the parliamentary and legislative bodies of the United Kingdom and the European Parliament. It broadcasts live and recorded coverage of the House of Commons and House of Lords, Select Committees of the UK Parliament, the three devolved assemblies, being the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Welsh Assembly, and occasionally from the General Synod of the Church of England. The channel also broadcasts reports from the European Parliament and the yearly party conferences of the main UK political parties and the Trades Union Congress.
Before being taken over by the BBC, the channel was known as The Parliamentary Channel. The Parliamentary Channel launched as a cable-exclusive channel in 1992. The channel was purchased by the BBC in 1998, retitled ‘BBC Parliament’, and relaunched under the new name on 23 September 1998. It now broadcasts on cable, satellite, and Freeview.
Since 29 July 2003, all domestic BBC TV channels are are available for free on satellite, without viewing card or subscription. They are classed as “free to air” channels, and can be received on most digital satellite receivers, including Sky digiboxes and Freesat set top boxes. The channels were transmitted from the Astra 2D satellite with its “spot beam”, aimed at the UK. This tried to limit reception of BBC channels in Europe. To some extent this worked, as some areas of Spain, like the Costa Blanca, had to use large 1.8m satellite dishes, 1.9m satellite dishes, and 2.4m satellite dishes to watch BBC TV channels. Some areas of Spain were more lucky, like the Costa del Sol, where they could use the smaller “125x135cm” ( or a “1.4m” ) satellite dish.
In February 2012, the BBC channels moved from the Astra 2D satellite, to a temporary home on the Astra 1N satellite. The Astra 1N satellite “signal footprint” is more generous to expats in Spain, and so the BBC channels on Astra 1N could be received on a satellite dish as small as 90x100cm, a “1m” satellite dish.
During February 2014, the remaining BBC channels on Astra 1N moved to their new satellite, Astra 2E.
The new Astra 2E, Astra 2F and Astra 2G satellites UK “spot beam” or “narrow beam” signal footprint is different to the previous UK TV satellites UK beam. This has meant that reception of BBC channels on the new Astra 2 satellites will be different to previous reception. In the areas between Valencia and Alicante, our service area, the BBC channels on the new Astra 2 satellites UK beam can still be received on a small satellite dish – as small as a 110x120cm satellite dish with a 125x135cm satellite dish being the recommended size satellite dish.
However, in other areas of Spain, reception of these BBC channels on the new Astra 2 satellites UK beam has become harder. For example, in areas such as Barcelona, Catalonia and Zaragoza, you need at least a 1.8m satellite dish to receive these channels on the Astra 2F UK beam, whereas previously you only needed a smaller 80cm satellite dish. It is a similar story in the south of Spain, in areas like the Costa del Sol, Malaga, Almeria, Seville, Gibraltar and even Portugal, where even the larger 2.4m satellite dishes are struggling to receive these channels on the Astra 2 satellites UK beam.
BBC Parliament on Freesat and Sky
BBC Parliament is allocated to Freesat channel 201.
BBC Parliament is allocated to Sky channel 504.
BBC TV Channels: